Write an essay where you tell us what test preparation practices work best for you and why.

When it comes to school, my test-taking abilities aren't my greatest qualities. However, over the years I have found that it's not the knowledge of the subject that stumps me, it's myself that does. Before a test, I get major anxiety. My leg starts to shake, my mind starts to race, and fear sinks into my stomach. But what I once thought was just a problem with my own brain, turned out to be a common problem for many of my other classmates.

The biggest misconception with bad grades is that the student themselves either aren't studying or are of low intelligence. However, in many cases, like own, students can study for weeks and still manage to get a C on a test even though during class they had the concepts mastered. The same goes for intelligence. I have seen students with multiple AP classes and top 20 in their grade, fail a test that someone who barely pays attention in the back, aced. Preparing for a test is almost like getting ready for a sports game. You wouldn't go into the game telling yourself that you were going to play bad, would you? The answer seems so obvious but we oftentimes beat ourselves up before we have even given ourselves a chance to try.

The night before any test I like to meditate. I envision myself passing and my grades improving. If I know I have studied hard, the only thing I have to train, is my mind. I get plenty of sleep and eat a hearty breakfast but I make sure I don't think about the test more than I have to, that is key! I distract myself with music and work for other classes. Right before my test, I overlook my notes one last time, to make myself feel confident in my knowledge. I recite positive phrases to myself all the way until my test is completed. Positivity and belief can pass a test. Training your mind to believe in itself can be the hardest part but if you study hard in the beginning and distract yourself from negative thoughts on the day of the test, you'll see A's in no time, just like I did.

Erica from Florida
High School Senior
Lake Gibson High School